The views around Marquis Drive Visitor Centre and at Shugborough Estate on Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are getting better!

During this autumn and winter approximately 3.5 kilometres of overhead electricity lines from White House to Moors Gorse are being removed and placed underground as part of an ongoing £2.3 million initiative by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to enhance protected landscapes.

WPD Wayleave Specialist Donna Bayliss explains:

“This work is being funded through a regulatory-backed initiative to enhance protected landscapes by removing electrical infrastructure like overhead lines. We work closely with representatives from National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to identify suitable sites for consideration. This has been really helpful to pinpoint high priority schemes and enable the limited funds to be spent as effectively as possible.”

The overhead line runs alongside Marquis Drive and across Forestry England’s estate towards Sheepwash Farm.  WPD has obtained all the necessary approvals for working in this sensitive area. Work started on 16 September 2019 and is due to last approximately 16 weeks. The work will be arranged to minimise disruption; however, traffic lights will be necessary for a few weeks, and visitors to the area are asked to take care around the contractor’s working areas and make allowances for any inconvenience.

This is one of two sites in the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which will be transformed during 2019/2020. A scheme proposed jointly by the AONB and the National Trust, will also see overhead lines at Shugborough Estate removed to restore the historic character of this iconic Grade I listed park.

Councillor Frances Beatty, Chair of the Cannock Chase AONB Partnership added:

“We are delighted to have secured the funding from Western Power Distribution for these improvements to the landscape.  The work both at White House to Sheepwash Farm and at Shugborough will improve the visual amenity in iconic parts of the AONB, in terms of public benefit, the schemes will also deliver on a large scale as being two of the most visited sites in Cannock Chase.”